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Windows 7 public beta end date named

Two-day wiggle room

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You've got just over two weeks to download the Windows 7 beta from Microsoft, as Redmond starts winding-down the public testing process.

The Windows 7 team has blogged that you have until February 10 to start the process of downloading Windows 7. Testers who have started, but not completed, the download process on that date will have until February 12 to finish the process - a testament to the fact that Microsoft's download infrastructure has struggled to keep up with demand.

Microsoft will continue to make Windows 7 beta product keys available after the February 12 date, it said. Also, veteran subscribers to MSDN and TechNet fear not: You'll be able to download the Windows 7 beta after the February 12 cut-off the company said.

No matter who you are, though, the Windows 7 beta will cease to work on August 1, according to reports.

It's been just over two weeks since Microsoft officially threw open the Windows 7 beta at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Microsoft has said it's ending general availability of the beta because of demand. "We are at the point where we have more than enough beta testers and feedback coming in to meet our engineering needs," the company said.

It's likely Microsoft received more feedback than it needed given Windows 7 is a less ambitious work than predecessor Windows Vista and was considered largely feature complete by Microsoft when released this month. This means that unlike with the Windows Vista, Windows 7 testing was a tire-kicking exercise rather than an acid test for major new capabilities.

Based on the Windows Vista code, Microsoft's Windows 7 focus has been on tuning up performance and simplifying interface and navigation. ®

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